Supporting our shepherds: a duty or a blessing? 

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When was the last time you shared a word of affirmation with your pastor? I’m not talking about the platitudes you may share after they’ve preached an excellent sermon, but meaningful affirmation that is specific and personal. A word of affirmation or appreciation is like putting petrol into the spiritual tank of your minister and their family! The apostle Paul, who understood the need to affirm, in his first letter to his young intern wrote: “The pastors who lead their church well, are worthy of a double honour, particularly those who toil hard in preaching and teaching the Living Word of God!” (1 Timothy 5:17). 

Our pastors carry an incredible weight that each of us will never truly understand. As chair of the church board, nominating committee and business meetings, they take the verbal brunt of unpopular decisions that we as members may not agree with, but those decisions are often the catalyst to help us move forward and transform us into a soul-winning movement. They support our faith journey, help our relationships when in crisis, teach us biblical principles and lead seekers into saving relationships with Jesus. They often move far from friends and family to serve people they’ve never met in places many of us would never live. Their family are vulnerable because the pastor is doing Bible studies, visitation and having church meetings late into the night. Their Sabbaths are scheduled, and their Sundays filled with church related work. They are tasked to cultivate a healthy, vibrant church through empowered mission-focused relationships and to make disciples of Jesus who live as His loving witnesses and proclaim to all people the everlasting gospel in preparation for His soon return while inspiring a thriving disciple-making movement! Pastors don’t work to make much of themselves but to make much of Jesus!

Could today be the day to find a way to affirm your pastor? Could you fill their spiritual tank with meaningful appreciation that will galvanise them for the next segment of the road less travelled? “Esteem your pastors highly in love because of their work and be at peace” (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

A big THANK YOU our pastors, for your dedication and commitment to the cause of Christ. May the blessing and anointing of the Lord be upon you!

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